Harken Battcars: Nothing You Can Add Yourself, Adds So Much Safety

Simplify Sail Management: Harken Battcars Revolutionize reefing for safer, easier sailing.
Sailboat reefing
Battcars glide effortlessly along the track, making reefing a breeze even in challenging conditions. Courtesy Harken

For years, Harken Battcars have been so low in friction, sailors reef easily–even in a blow. Shortening sail safely is often the difference between having to scramble extra crewmembers out of the cockpit, and a safe, uneventful reef. Battcars make reefing quite manageable—especially shorthanded. Halyard eased, it takes surprisingly little to pull down the luff—which remains permanently attached to the track and unchaotic. Battcars add the shortened sail safety factor we want for more sailors.

storm trysail track
The storm trysail track feature, allowing for quick deployment in challenging weather conditions. Courtesy Harken

Harken Battcars continue to advance. So, if you haven’t evaluated them in some time, look at ‘em again. Today’s Battcars are ‘captive bearing’ so our famous Harken bearing balls stay in their races and off your deck. Our newly available mast slugs and slug track make retrofitting your grooved spar with a Battcar system a realistic DIY project. It might sound crazy, but that retrofit can be done mast-up…with the boat still in the water. Recently, we began installing the slug track system on a 40-footer in the morning. The owners had previously had their sails modified to fit Battcars. We went sailing that evening! If you don’t believe it, check out this video.

Harken Battcars installed
A sailor’s-eye view from the mast, showcasing the sleek profile of installed Battcars along the track. Courtesy Harken

These days, there are more Harken Battcar options than ever. The split-track option cuts mainsail stack height in half by cueing each car to take an alternate path as the halyard is lowered. See that feature here. This system has an optional storm trysail track that allows crews to deploy from below the boom around the mainsail stack.

Battcar installation
DIY installation in progress: retrofitting a mast with the new Harken slug track system. Courtesy Harken

As always, Battcar systems cost a fraction of in-boom or in-mast furling–for which you need a whole new spar. If you’re doing more shorthanded sailing…or if you’re fighting back against downsizing, Harken Battcars can be a solution. So much safety, so simply added.